Archive for February, 2012

New this year, Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in Champaign, is offering shares of their cheese, goat milk gelato and Katic bread, an artisan bread baker* (also in Champaign). Prairie Fruits Farm is listed as Illinois’ first farmstead cheese making facility and offers a full-range of goat cheese as well as a few sheep’s milk cheeses.  Their fresh chevre is full of flavor with that nice tang.  Little Bloom on the Prairie is a wonderful creamy white mold rind cheese that you could eat in one sitting…it’s that lovely in your mouth!

I’ve signed up for my share already so I can tell everyone else about it now.  Every man for himself when we’re talking cheese!

I first heard about PFF from my sister in Chicago (who had purchased some at a specialty cheese shop and loved it).  Crazy how you have to go to Chicago to hear about local IL growers in your own backyard!

I did a little research, got on their email list and took every opportunity to eat some great goat cheese.  A few Peoria stores have stocked their cheeses off and on and I’ve been to the Farm for their beginning-of-season farm breakfasts (and to see all the new baby goats).  They also host Farm Dinners throughout the Summer/Fall but I have yet to be quick-enough to register for one of those.

Get out there and support our IL independent farmers.  They work so hard and their products are so good it’s a shame not to help them out at every opportunity.

*You can taste Katic breads at
Naturally Yours Grocery or at the new 3030 Coffee on Main Street in Peoria.

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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one of the best ways to purchase seasonal, fresh food from the farmers who grow it.  Farmers offer a “share” to consumers for a particular season (usually Summer here in Central IL) and deliver boxes of fresh produce, and more often, beef, eggs, poultry and other farm fresh items, weekly or bi-weekly to a designated drop-off location.  Consumers pay up front at the beginning of the season taking your chances on a “good” season.  There’s no money back guarantee so if it’s rainy and cold, well then, everyone has to live with it just like the farmer.  Consumers can see what is available in typical shares, but for most CSAs, the boxes are assembled and, as my daughter says, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”!  But who would be … an entire box of fresh from the field produce with the grower right there – no mysteries about where your food has come from.  Support our local, hard-working farmers and do your part to help change our industrialized food chain, by purchasing a share this year.

Shares go fast, so if you are considering one for Summer 2012 – better get moving.  Local Harvest is a handy website with more information on CSAs and a listing of Central IL farms.

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